Tinker is the lodestar for free speech in public schools.
We cannot connect with each other when we have lost freedom of thought or speech. We are lonely, isolated, and at loose ends – as sociologists like to say, atomized.
Efforts to persuade like-minded people to form intense antagonism toward non-like-minded people – indeed, to fear them and hate them – underpin most political campaigns.
Someday people who consider Jones and his opinions vile will not be on top. Then their freedom to write and speak and publish what they think will feel threatened, and they will feel marginalized. What will they say then?
When you start to feel that people respect you and like you primarily because of what you believe, you are going to feel lonely. Unconditional love is the only kind worth having, or giving.
I suppose we should expect that people so conscious of their own safety, so willing to gin up threats to advance their political aims, would also threaten others to make them feel unsafe. However your opponents respond, they lose.
They pretend to stand for diversity and what they call marginalized groups, but in fact they stand for no more than what you see in front of you: force. If you do not do as they say, the gangs will destroy you. Gangs at Reed demonstrated they can get their way, and destroy the college, the college’s president, and the college’s ideals in the process.
If we crave security and freedom – security of living with people we trust, and freedom to live without interference from others – why do we not gravitate toward institutions that embody live and let live principles?
What is the alternative? To go the way of Middlebury College, an institution that used to stand for academic integrity.